Dual perfluorocarbon method to noninvasively monitor dissolved oxygen concentration in tissue engineered constructs in vitro and in vivo



Noninvasive in vivo monitoring of tissue implants provides important correlations between construct function and the observed physiologic effects. As oxygen is a key parameter affecting cell and tissue function, we established a monitoring method that utilizes 19F nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, with perfluorocarbons (PFCs) as oxygen concentration markers, to noninvasively monitor dissolved oxygen concentration (DO) in tissue engineered implants. Specifically, we developed a dual PFC method capable of simultaneously measuring DO within a tissue construct and its surrounding environment, as the latter varies among animals and with physiologic conditions. In vitro studies using an NMR-compatible bioreactor demonstrated the feasibility of this method to monitor the DO within alginate beads containing metabolically active murine insulinoma βTC-tet cells, relative to the DO in the culture medium, under perfusion and static conditions. The DO profiles obtained under static conditions were supported by mathematical simulations of the system. In vivo, the dual PFC method was successful in tracking the oxygenation state of entrapped βTC-tet cells and the surrounding peritoneal DO over 16 days in normal mice. DO measurements correlated well with the extent of cell growth and host cell attachment examined postexplantation. The peritoneal oxygen environment was found to be variable and hypoxic, and significantly lower in the presence of metabolically active cells. The significance of the dual PFC system in providing critical DO measurements for entrapped cells and other tissue constructs, in vitro and in vivo, is discussed. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 2011